What is Trauma Sensitive Yoga

Somatic Experiencing®

We have successfully completed training at the Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY), and presently in our Somatic Experiencing® Student Cohort in our 3yr certificate program offering different aspects of both trauma informed care programs in our Yoga Therapy Intern clinical offerings. We offer information on both of these wonderful somatic movement programs below.


Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga

We are so excited to be offering TCTSY in our community, developed at the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) is a program of the Center for Trauma and Embodiment at the Justice Resource Institute. TCTSY is an empirically validated, clinical intervention for complex trauma or chronic, treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The TCTSY program qualified for inclusion in the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) database published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In addition to yoga, TCTSY has foundations in Trauma Theory, Attachment Theory, and Neuroscience. 

The TCTSY methodology is based on central components of the hatha style of yoga, where participants engage in a series of physical forms and movements. Elements of standard hatha yoga are modified to maximize experiences of empowerment and to cultivate a more positive relationship to one's body. Unlike many public yoga classes, TCTSY does not use physical hands-on adjustments to influence a participant's physical form. Rather, TCTSY presents opportunities for participants to be in charge of themselves based on a felt sense of their own body.  

Although TCTSY employs physical forms and movements, the emphasis is not on the external expression or appearance (i.e. doing it"right"), or receiving the approval of an external authority. Rather, the focus is on the internal experience of the participant. This shift in orientation, from the external to the internal, is a key attribute of TCTSY as a complementary treatment for complex trauma. With our approach, the power resides within the individual, not the TCTSY teacher.

Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) is an empirically validated, adjunctive clinical treatment for complex trauma or chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. It is recognized by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration:

How are Trauma-Sensitive Yoga classes different than other types of yoga classes?

  • The teacher has experience and extensive training in Trauma-Sensitive Yoga practices. Classes include optional chair massage therapy and essential oil usage to safely engage the body and activate healthy sensory responses.

  • TSY helps to manage the symptoms of anxiety, acute stress, PTSD and increases the capacity for healing, well being, and health.

  • Gender specific classes are options with with no physical hands-on adjustments.

  • Attention will be paid to the potential for feelings of vulnerability in certain yoga postures.

  • Teacher will continually offer options, allowing students to practice making empowered choices, opting in or out of any portion of the class at any time.

  • The class offers students the opportunity to rebuild agency and connection with oneself to help them feel safe in their bodies again.

  • Research has shown that TCTSY has many evidence-based benefits for those who have experienced trauma."

Somatic Experiencing®

"The Somatic Experiencing® method is a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders. It is the life’s work of Dr. Peter A. Levine, resulting from his multidisciplinary study of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics, together with over 45 years of successful clinical application. The SE™ approach releases traumatic shock, which is key to transforming PTSD and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma.

The Somatic Experience® Approach
Offers a framework to assess where a person is “stuck” in the fight, flight or freeze responses and provides clinical tools to resolve these fixated physiological states. It provides effective skills appropriate to a variety of healing professions including mental health, medicine, physical and occupational therapies, bodywork, addiction treatment, first response, education, and others." -The Somatic Experiencing® Trauma Institute 

Please contact us for research information.

San Antonio, TX United States

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©2017 by The Grace Tree Foundation & Soma Collective.